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31 March 2011

Production Boards

Earlier this year, I was visiting one of our real estate offices and happened to notice a blank white board that was once a production board hanging predominantly on the wall. When I started selling real estate, the production board was a huge motivator for me. I wanted to see my name up there noting that I had taken a new listing or gotten an accepted offer.  I’m pretty sure that competitive nature is extremely common in our profession!

I started reflecting on some of my recent office visits. I think I remembered seeing production boards filled out– or had I somehow missed the demise of this real estate office management tool?

I decided to do an informal survey and posted a question about the use of production boards- why, or why not- to our Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Facebook Owners/Managers group.

Not surprisingly, some offices are still using the boards and some aren’t.

What did surprise me was one of the reasons frequently given for stopping the use of production boards. Several managers shared that they stopped when the market turned. That what was supposed to be a motivator for agents had become a de-motivator. Seeing new listings that had little hope of selling, and seeing so few sales was downright disheartening for office morale. So eventually, the boards were just erased and left empty.

Those still using Production boards said they find them to be a helpful visual aid that allows everyone in the office to see the monthly activity of new listings and properties under offer.

As you might expect, those still using the boards said they find them to be a helpful visual aid that allows everyone in the office to see the monthly activity of new listings and properties under offer. The boards also helped everyone see how well the collective group was tracking towards monthly listing and sales goals.

I’m a big believer in goal setting and accountability on an individual sales agent level and overall office level. I also know the power of visual tools to achieving short term and long term goals. Even though our numbers may have decreased, we still have to hit goals. If we are professionals in this industry, we need a plan and we need to use every resource available to execute that plan. If your production board filled a wall because years ago there were that many transactions, and now the number has reduced and the board never looks full, then get a smaller board but keep using the tool.

Another thought is to give your production board a digital makeover and build it into your company intranet site. I’d love to log into a site and see how I’m personally tracking on my monthly and yearly goals as well as how the entire office is tracking. Since most agents spend very little time in the office these days, this seems like the logical next generation approach.

What doesn’t make sense to me is not using this tool in some way, shape or form- find a way to incorporate the production board in a way that makes sense for your business.

19 thoughts on “Production Boards

  1. Wendy, another good reason to keep using the board is to track how many 'errors' have been made in listing certain houses. You can visually track those listings that you shouldn't have taken on. The sellers are most likely not motivated enough, therefore the listing goes stale.

  2. Thanks Wendy. We got rid of the huge marker board a few years ago and moved to a big screen TV. We turned it sideways and run an animated PowerPoint version of the production board. The agents love it. It also gives us an opportunity to post sales contests and reminders of the services we provide to them.

  3. Our company ( Liz Moore and Associates- Williamsburg and Newport News VA) has had large screen TV monitors with real time production numbers for years. I will say that when you are down in sales you don't to see the results so much. Early on I was always inspired by our top producers and marveled at their achievements. I guess they now marvel at me since I am typically in the top agent rankings. Your idea of building it into the intranet was accomplished as well a few years back.
    every time I log into our Liz Moore intranet I can see a dashboard that shows me with a multiple graphic indicators where I am in relation to last year and my goals. There are separate pages for listings, pendings, closings, referrals and more. I have to hand it to Liz ( my broker),she has single handedly created one of the most powerful intranet portals I have seen. A few years back Salesforce.com offered to partner with us to develop a real estate portal , after spending countless hours with a group of our agents, staff and Liz they then reneged on their offer. Liz then swore she would develop it on her own so we wouldn't be dependent on a third party..

    John Womeldorf- Liz Moore and Associates-Williamsburg VA

  4. OK, I'm going to go against the flow here (imagine that… 😉

    I understand the "motivation factor". Even the "competition factor".

    But I also see production boards as being a detriment to cooperation and teamwork. Jealousy is an ugly thing — and a fact of human nature. While I want to believe that no one would intentionally attempt to undermine someone who dominates the board, there is little question that some will be jealous, some will get depressed, and some will make zero effort to help out "Mr. Successful".

    I want my agents to cooperate and work with each other. To help each other out. I'd rather my agents cooperate with each other as opposed to compete with each other. Production boards *might* interfere with this.

  5. Thanks Wendy. We got rid of a huge sign of the government a few years ago and moved to the big screen TV. We turned sideways and control the production of an animated version of PowerPoint on board. Like agents. It also gives us the ability to send reminders, sales contests, and the services we provide to them.

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